Actors and actresses often serve as muses for directors, and occasionally, life imitates art and a workplace romance blossoms. Other times, married directors, or those in long-term partnerships, opt to take their relationship to set — directing their significant others in movies. This was the case for John Derek, who directed wife Bo Derek in the 1984 romantic drama "Bolero." In honor of the film's 35th anniversary on Aug. 31, 2019, Wonderwall.com is rounding up more directors who've worked with their husbands, wives or partners on set! Keep reading for more…
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John Krasinski directed wife Emily Blunt in "A Quiet Place," in which he also starred. At that point the pair had almost been married for eight years, but he later told People magazine that the experience brought them closer than ever: "I never have loved my wife more than after we did this movie. For me, it was a trust thing. We trust each other in day-to-day life for sure, but when you trust each other in this way, it's different."
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Angelina Jolie pulled triple duty with "By the Sea," writing, directing and starring in the 2015 film alongside her then-hubby, Brad Pitt. Ironically, the famous couple started filming the project — which chronicles a troubled marriage — just weeks after they themselves tied the knot in 2014. Angelina told The Hollywood Reporter's "Award Chatter" podcast of the decision to cast Brad, "To be honest, I wanted to work with him because we had met working together [on 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith'] and we worked together well. And even though it was a challenging role, we'd matured and I wanted us to do some serious work together and I wanted to see him do that kind of work." Unfortunately, the two announced their split a year after the film's release.
Another case of life imitating art? Sam Mendes directed then-wife Kate Winslet in 2008's "Revolutionary Road" — a film about the end of a marriage — alongside Kate's "Titanic" co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. Like the action taking place in the film, Kate and Sam's relationship unraveled shortly after. They announced their split in 2010 after seven years of marriage and were divorced by 2011.
Actress Frances McDormand met filmmaker Joel Coen in 1983 while auditioning for his directorial debut, "Blood Simple." The couple were married a year later in 1984 — and since then, Frances has acted in many films her husband's directed alongside brother Ethan Coen. Most notably, Joel and Ethan directed Frances in her Oscar-winning role in "Fargo" in 1996. She's also had parts in more than half a dozen other Coen brothers films including 2001's "The Man Who Wasn't There" and 2008's "Burn After Reading." Frances has cited their chemistry and bond as the reason they work so well together, telling The New York Times Magazine, "It was a revelation that I could have a lover who I could also work with and I wasn't intimidated by the person. It was: Wow! Really! Oh, my God! I can actually love and live — not subvert anything, not apologize for anything, not hide anything."
Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter met making the 2001 flick "Planet of the Apes" — he directed, she starred — then went on to have an intense 13-year relationship that yielded two children (though it's not believed they ever legally wed). During their time together, it was clear they were a powerhouse team. They worked on more than half a dozen movies together — 2001's "Big Fish," 2004's "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," 2005's "Corpse Bride" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," 2006's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," 2010's "Alice in Wonderland," 2012's "Dark Shadows" and their last project together, 2016's "Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass."
During Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson's four-year marriage from 1989 until 1995, Kenneth was pulling double duty working as a director and actor quite a few times alongside Emma. The couple worked together on 1989's "Henry V," 1991's "Dead Again" and 1993's "Much Ado About Nothing." During the marriage, Kenneth directed and co-starred with another woman on this list — Helena Bonham Carter — in "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," which led to an affair and the end of his union with Emma.
Paul W.S. Anderson first met future wife Milla Jovovich on the set of "Resident Evil" in 2002. The two dated on and off while he directed the star in "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" and "Resident Evil: Extinction," but by the time "Resident Evil: Afterlife" was released in 2010, they were married (they wed in 2009). Since then, they've also worked together on "Resident Evil: Retribution" in 2012 and "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" in 2016.
Like many Hollywood couples, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon first met as actors — in their case, while making "Bull Durham" in 1988. Though they never married, they were together for an impressive 23 years. During their time together, Tim directed Susan in "Dead Man Walking" — a film earned Susan an Academy Award for best actress and Tim an Academy Award nomination for best director.
Mia Farrow was already an established actress when she started dating writer-director Woody Allen in 1980. The couple were together until 1992, and during that time, Mia worked with Woody in 13 of his projects. Among them? 1984's "Broadway Danny Rose," 1985's "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and 1986's "Hannah and Her Sisters."
When director Lauren Miller Rogen was casting the Netflix comedy "Like Father," she didn't immediately select hubby Seth Rogen to star. In fact, she tried to go another route, according to Seth. He told "The Tonight Show" that after he admitted he wanted the role, she wasn't exactly convinced, "She was like, 'I don't know… The character isn't like you.' I eventually talked her into letting me do it."
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are old pros at working together. Dax both directed and starred in 2012's "Hit and Run" and 2017's "ChiPs" — right alongside his real-life wife, Kristen Bell. Of their time together on set, Dax only had glowing things to say about his beloved, telling Variety, "She's my favorite actor. She's perfect on every take. It's very annoying."
Legendary director Orson Welles and Hollywood acting icon Rita Hayworth were married for five years in the '40s — from 1943 until 1948. During that time, the couple worked together on the critically acclaimed 1947 film "The Lady From Shanghai."